CG Roxane LLC faces federal charges

By Deb Murphy

Four years ago CG Roxane LLC began the process of dealing with arsenic contamination of groundwater at its Crystal Geyser bottling plant in Olancha. Late last week, the company was charged in federal court with illegal disposal of that arsenic-tainted wastewater.

The charges filed in Los Angeles allege CG Roxane and two other companies did not properly disclose the toxic material shipped to a facility in Fontana in 2015, a facility not permitted to deal with hazardous waste. The indictment contains 16 counts that could result in $8 million in fines for each of the three entities.

Crystal Geyser filtered out arsenic, naturally occurring in the water, at its Olancha plant, disposing of the contaminant in its lined Arsenic Pond. The lining degraded over time allowing the contaminants to percolate into the groundwater.

Consultant Geosyntec was brought in to determine the extent of the contamination. Geohydrologists determined the groundwater under the pond flowed northwest, toward Owens Lake and away from private wells in Cartago.

Arsenic Pond was shut down and the company began trucking the concentrated contaminants off site.

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14 Responses to CG Roxane LLC faces federal charges

  1. David Dennison August 1, 2018 at 6:14 pm #

    Earl,it’s not really a show of “disrespect ” if you don’t fly the American flag,anymore than if you don’t go to Church that doesn’t mean your an athiest….does it ? Is that where this Country is going ?… lately,in the past year or so, sometimes it seems that way..

  2. Earl Duran August 1, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

    About time someone held their feet to the fire, I have noticed they do not fly the American flag at the factory anymore does anyone know why, it is a sigh of disrespect. They took down the French flag, so they do not have to fly the Star and Stripes.

    • Sandy September 6, 2019 at 8:24 am #

      No Flag(s)? Because a Chinese pharmaceutical company bought controlling share, 51%, before the man who owned the shares died. Follow the money!

  3. Philip Anaya July 30, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

    The time a defined juvenile offender spends out of the community is a breath for both the kid and the community. However the placement has to provide a beneficial experience to the kid and the system has to invest equally in the return of the kid to the community as they do to adjudicate the kid and the subsequent incarceration. The very best folks (Probation Officers) should deal with aftercare and the caseload size should be manageable in the low tens not the low hundreds.
    Education and support at this critical time in a kids life is all of our responsibility. It takes a village and is a vital investment in our society vs building prisons and incarcerating offenders for their lifetimes

  4. David Dennison July 30, 2018 at 12:50 pm #

    Allen…My thinking,for what it’s worth,depends a lot on the crime the juvenile commits….you can only blame bad parenting for so much…I watch a lot of those true-crime shows and documentaries on the Discovery Investigation channel,and it amazes me what some 13-14 year olds do to others…incarceration maybe more so for the safety of others if/when they get out than it is for punishment.

  5. Allen Berrey July 30, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    In my comment I say that many of the minors I represented in juvenile court had no fathers or life. Those were insensitive words and I shouldn’t have used them.

    I was trying to say that much of minors’ “criminal” behavior was the result of circumstances largely beyond their control.

    All the minors I represented had “lives” – and were entitled to one.


  6. Allen Berrey July 30, 2018 at 6:30 am #

    Yes David, for some reason corporations rarely suffer the consequences of their crimes.

    At the end of my legal career I was a juvenile delinquency-court public defender and was everyday amazed – and sickened – too see how readily our society holds 14-year old children – many with no fathers and no life – accountable for their misdeed – sent in shackles and jump suits to sit in a cell at juvenile hall, body-cavity searched after a family visit, required to pay restitution – while we allow billionaire corporate fraudsters to steal and lie – and in this case pollute – with near impunity.

    Just like the Wall Streeters who committed one of the biggest frauds in history – causing a global financial crisis in the process (for which they got bailed out with public funds) – no one from CG Roxanne will spend a second behind bars.

    I’m not saying children shouldn’t be held accountable for their crimes; I’m just saying that, if we are going to do so, then we should with equal zeal hold corporations – and those who run them – accountable for theirs.



    • sierragrl August 2, 2018 at 9:35 am #

      Wow….that’s one of the most depressing things I’ve read in a long time. Our country is beyond broken, and getting worse quickly. Corporations have been given rights, but no responsibilities!

    • John August 4, 2018 at 6:48 am #

      Allen so you never figured out the system just wants money

  7. David Dennison July 29, 2018 at 10:28 am #

    Always sickening to see these big multi-million dollar companies cutting the corners,contaminating the land and environment all for the sake of making easier money….I guess it’s the new “American way”,and yet ANOTHER reason,along with our current administration,why we’re looked down on by so many Worldwide Countries nowdays..hope this lawsuit costs them millions ..

    • Charles O. Jones July 30, 2018 at 7:07 am #

      There’s really nothing “new” about this irresponsible behavior, it’s been happening since the beginning of the industrial age and beyond. Such abuses were the impetus for environmental laws and regulations. Those are the same laws and regulations that our current leadership is trying to systematically dismantle.

    • Buzz Killington July 30, 2018 at 11:48 am #

      Agreed! If Hillary were in office this never would of happened and all the countries of the world would not look down on us.

      Thanks slow-inyo… I’m mean Davey Dennison

      • David Dennison July 30, 2018 at 12:42 pm #

        Hillary would suck too…first time ever in my lifetime two people running for President that nobody wanted to run for President,and the Country would be stuck with one of them…hopefully just for 4 mistake-filled “reality show ” years…thinkin’ the way things are going and looks like ahead,possibly even the Republicans wanting a REAL Presidential candidate to run for them by then in 2020 too…we’ll see….

  8. Steve Reese July 27, 2018 at 7:09 am #

    I was at the town meeting in Olancha that was held so CG could explain what happened to the Arsenic Pond and what was being done to fix it.

    CG had never told the county or received a permit for the Arsenic Pond, they admitted this at the meeting. So Inyo Co Environmental Health never inspected the pond because they did not know it was there or being used.

    The CG managers were upset that they had to come and explain anything to the local residents and acted like tho whole thing was a wast of there time.

    I am very disappointed with GC and the way they had to be forced to fix the pond. They should have been sorry and they were not.

    I am glad to see that CG will have to pay for the damage done. And now will forever be watched as a company that was willing to cheat the laws of this great country for profit.

    PS: The arsenic plume traveled Northeast towards Owens Lake, not Northwest. If it would have traveled Northwest it would have headed towards Cartago and they claim that did not happen.


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